170827 Romans 9:1-5

Last Updated on Monday, 28 August 2017 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Romans 9:1 – 5

Theme: Speak the Truth in Christ!

There is a story that is told about a family who went on a picnic. While relaxing after their meal, they noticed an ant crawling on the table and headed for some sugar that had spilled. As they watched the ant, they saw it leave and a short time later two ants appeared. They watched those two ants leave, and a little while later a whole colony of ants returned to enjoy that sweet pile of sugar that had spilled on the table. You see, the one ant found something sweet to eat, so it went out and found other ants so that they, too, could enjoy the sweet sugar.

By the grace of God, you and I have heard the sweet message of the Gospel. God the Holy Spirit has led you and me to believe that Jesus is our one and only Savior. Having tasted the sweet message of God's forgiving love in Christ for ourselves, we want to find many others to share with them the Good News of our Savior-God's amazing grace. As we continue our summer sermon series, "A summer in Rome", the encouragement for you and me is to SPEAK THE TRUTH IN CHRIST.

Through the first eight chapters of Romans, while guided by the Holy Spirit, the Lord's Apostle has laid out the basic truth of God's Word. He has shared with his readers the message of God's Law and Gospel; of sin and grace; of the Lord God's anger over sin and beautiful message of God's love in Jesus. Paul just finished writing at the end of chapter 8 that nothing "in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." But then, as he begins chapter 9, he writes about those who are separated from the love of God; separated not because God doesn't love them, but because they have chosen to reject God's love.

In particular, the Apostle Paul is writing about the Jews here in chapter 9. And he wants us to know that he is telling us the truth when he writes, "I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart." Paul's heart fills to over-flowing with sadness to see his fellow Jews rejecting the Good News that Jesus Christ is the promised Savior. After all, out of all the nations of the world, it was to the Children of Israel that the one and only true God once said, "'When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.'" The Jewish nation enjoyed a very special relationship with the Lord at one time. As we read, "Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ..."

In great love for his fellow Jews, Paul says he is willing to suffer anything, even hell itself, in their place, if it would mean that they could be saved. As he writes, "I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel." As he speaks the truth in Christ, the Lord's Apostle does so with great sorrow for unbelievers.

Do you and I share the same desire as Paul to reach out to the unbelievers that we know? Each of us will have to confess the sin that we have, at times, failed to have a love and a passion for those who are lost. You and I don't always want to take the time or make the effort to tell someone about Jesus. You and I give in to the thinking that it takes far too much of our congregation's resources of our time, our talents and our money to carry out all our outreach efforts.

Think for a moment what our lives would be like if someone had ignored you or me. What if no one had cared about you or me? What if no one had loved you or me enough to tell us about Jesus? You and I would be doomed to a life that never ends in the flames of hell.

But, by the amazing grace of God, you and I know the Good News about Jesus our Savior. Filled with the Holy Spirit and filled with great sorrow for unbelievers, you and I speak the truth in love. Think about this for a moment: What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night, and saw that your neighbor's home was on fire? Would you simply pour yourself a glass of water, sit down in your favorite chair and watch your neighbors die and their house burn to the ground? No, each one of us would rush over to their house, calling out as loudly possible, trying everything we possibly could do to save our neighbors from the fire? My dear Christian friends, each one of us knows someone who is headed for the flames of hell. If they die without knowing Jesus as their one and only Savior, if the die caught in the trap of unrepentant sin, they will be lost forever. So, filled with great sorrow for unbelievers, speak the truth in Christ. Join with the Apostle Paul in doing everything you possibly are able to do to tell someone about Jesus. Join with the Lord's Disciples Peter and John who said, "We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."

This is the great thing about speaking the truth in Christ! You and I don't have to invent some clever story to share with others. We don't have to come up with a long list of duties for them to perform, so they can become part of our secret club. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power." All you and I are asked to do is speak the truth in Christ; that is, share with others what we have seen and heard for ourselves in God's Word: the Good News that the world's one and only Savior is Jesus Christ.

So, my fellow messengers of God's Word, my encouragement for each one of us is to be an ant. Go out from God's house today and find someone with whom you can share the sweet message of the Gospel. May God the Holy Spirit bless all your faithful efforts to speak the truth in Christ! Amen.

 

 

Our Mission Statement:

Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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Sunday
8:00 A.M. & 10:30 A.M.

9:15 A.M. Bible Study for All Ages

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St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
262-912-6060

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